Awards of Excellence Winners 2008

Thiviyaa Sehasothy
Visual Arts
Middlefield Collegiate Institute

An accomplished artist, Thiviyaa has achieved Grade 5 certificates in both vocal and violin. A multi-faceted individual, Thiviyaa placed on the honour roll in grade 10 and 11, received the Grade 11 Art award, placed 4th in the York Regional track meet, and received the Friesen’s yearbook scholarship. Thiviyaa credits her supportive mom, dad, brother, and dog for pushing her beyond her potential, and cites her brother as a role model. “He calls himself the guinea pig of the family; he does things first, and I learn from them… we’re four years apart, but I can go to him for anything.” Thiviyaa graduated as an Ontario Scholar, and is currently studying environmental science at McMaster University.

Rieshiee Vasuthevan
Performing Arts
Albert Campbell Collegiate Institute

Coming from a long line of mridangam artists, Rieshiee is accomplished in mridangam, an instrument he has been playing since he was three. Rieshiee completed Grade 6 mridangam from the Thamil Isai Kalaamanram, completed his mridangam arangetram three years ago, and has accompanied accomplished senior artists in performances worldwide. Rieshiee cites his mother and father as his prime source of motivation, especially his father who “gave up his business and devoted himself to fully to this art of mridangam. All my knowledge within would have to be from my father.” Rieshiee credits part of his success to the world famous mridangam masters K.R. Mani and Vengatesh. Rieshiee is currently in his final year of high school, and aspires to enter a premedical program and become a pediatrician, as well as one of the best mridangists in the world.

Lashaayan Kugathasan
Athletic Achievement
Wexford Collegiate Institute

An athletic and fun-loving person, Lashaayan has excelled in a variety of athletic endeavours. Lashaayan’s athletic achievements include being a member of the Wexford Varsity Boys baseball team, cricket team, championship volley-ball and soccer teams, cross country team, track team and receiving the junior Athletic Letter at his school. In addition, Lashaayan received the Marvale Softball Associations most improved award and most sportsmanlike award. On top of his athletic achievements, Lashaayan, received grade 10 and 11 Wexford scholar awards and the grade 11 accounting award. Lashaayan credits his success to his mom, dad and brother, and cites Terry Fox as a role model. “Terry never gave up. Even when he couldn’t walk he still ran around Canada so he could fulfill his goal and help the world fight cancer. He is a good example of perseverance.”

Darsi Panchalingam
Community Contribution
Port Credit Secondary School

A dedicated volunteer, Darsi has contributed over 1000 hours to the community. Darsi served as both the president of club of the world and co-president of the interact club at her school. In addition, she has co-ordinated many fundraisers, including a collections drive raising over a hundred pairs of mittens for underprivileged children, prescription eyeglasses for a Third World Country, over $3000 to build a school in Sierra Leone, and a donations drive to numerous organizations including Pencils for Kids, the Star Santa Claus Fund, and the Salvation Army. As President of club of the world, Darsi co-ordinated a multicultural talent show. Darsi plays the piano and violin, is an active swimmer, and an accomplished Bharathanatyam dancer. Darsi cites her parents, who have been an “encouragement through my whole journey”, as the source of her success. Owing to her love of children Darsi aspires to enter medical school to become a pediatrician.

Niro Francispragasam
Grade 9 Academic achievement
Neil McNeil Catholic Secondary School

A top student cites his thirst for knowledge as a prime source of his success. Niro describes himself as an individual who pushes himself to his limits. On top of his academic success, Niro is a volunteer at 2 community hospitals, a peer tutor, a member of reach for the top committee, and the co-coordinator of young spiritians, a program to build schools in Kenya. Niro is an active swimmer, finishing 3rd in the Toronto district championships, and a badminton player, where he placed second in mixed doubles. Niro attributes his success to his older brother and mom. “She pushes so that I can be someone who can be someone that she can be proud of but she cares for me at the same time. If I were going to do anything, I would do it for myself but have her in mind as well. “Niro intends to complete high school in three years and pursue life sciences.

Janitha Sathiyaseelan
Grade 10 Academic Achievement
R.H. King Academy

An honor roll student and dedicated individual, Janithaa has excelled in both academic and community-related pursuits. As a member of the Scarborough Village Youth Council, Janithaa was instrumental in advocating for a youth space within the Recreation Centre through letters to politicians, petitions, and meeting with the Senior Council and city officials. The team was recognized as “Group of the Year “at the 49th Volunteer recognition event for their success. Janithaa attributes her success to her parents who were “always there supporting and encouraging me“, and cites Youth worker Vathany Uthayasundaram of YouthLink as a role model. Janithaa aspires to become a social worker or teacher.

Sobika Easwaran
Grade 11 Academic Achievement
George S. Henry Academy

Hardworking and ambitious, Sobika is active in numerous school and community initiatives. On top of achieving academic excellence, Sobika has been instrumental in bringing social awareness, embracing diversity, and providing food to the homeless, organizing events in school, and spending time with elders. As former president of Student Council, Sobika is accomplished in Bharathanatyam, completing her arangetram at the age of 11, and has completed grade 7 pianos. Sobika credits her parents for their guidance and support. Sobika aspires to become a pediatrician.

Keerthana Kamalavasan
Grade 12 Academic Achievement
Albert Campbell Collegiate Institute

With an academic average in the mid-90s, Keerthana ranks among the top students at her high school. Keerthana placed on the honor roll in every year, and received the gr 12 world issues award. Driven by the desire to be a better global citizen, Keerthana is active both in the school and community, including serving as a camp counselor at Milliken CRC nature nuts summer camp, a camp counselor at NetTek Training and solutions, a member of the Formal committee and Social committee at her school, and a flutist in the symphonic band. Keerthana attributes her success to her determination, and credits her parents for “Helping me along the way. “ She is inspired by Justin Trudeau – “he’s achieving that one day I hope to do – he’s a teacher, and entering politics at a young age. “Keerthana graduated as a Ontario Scholar, and is currently studying History and French at York University on scholarship.

Kesavan Ganeshalingam
Grade 9 Overall Achievement
Middlefield Collegiate Institute

A leader in the school and community, Kesavan is an executive council member of numerous extra-curricular committees, among the Hindu students association, the Red Cross, Peer Meditation, and the Community outreach Team at high school. Kesavan’s achievements include serving as an Ontario soccer Association level 4 referees, reaching the premier level 4 division with Scarborough Rangers soccer club’s under 15 team serving as Co-Captain of Middlefield Collegiate Institute’s junior boys soccer team, and ranking in the top 25% in the University of Waterloo Pascal math contest. Kesavan attribute his success to his mom, dad, and brothers. “Without them at my side pushing me to achieve, I would not nearly have had the strength to put myself together and achieve the things I have achieved. “ Kesavan aspires to major in business at top university.

Vijayabharath Jeyapalan
Grade 12 Overall Achievement
Markville Secondary school

A scholar and community leader, Vijay was a member of the championship team at the shad valley RBC Cup, a competition between 12 Canadian campuses across the nation. Vijay was instrumental in creating the best overall product pitch involving the best application theme, product engineering, and marketing. In addition, Vijay organized the Amazing Markham Race, raising over $25,000 for at-risk youth. Vijay is motivated by his parents, whom he respects for “their kindness, humility and generosity … and for their hard work and dedication. “ Vijay intends to pursue and undergraduate degree in Business commerce, and ultimately a career in international public law.

Parthiban Indubalan
Most Improved Student
Middlefield Collegiate Institute

Growing up in difficult circumstances, Parthiban overcame peer pressure and tremendous adversity to achieve success. In high school, Parthiban encountered academic difficulty and youth violence, but came to realize that he did not want to waste opportunities and make something of his future. Parthiban attributes his turnaround to the support of family and youth outreach outworkers and “Realizing everything they did for me. “ Parthiban graduated as an Ontario Scholar, and is now currently studying Commerce at McMaster University.

Mayuran Sritharan
Most Improved Student
Lester B. Pearson Collegiate Institute

A young man who has demonstrated tremendous determination in the face of diversity, Mayuran went from a student in danger of failing out of high school to receiving an average of 70+ by the end of his final year. Like most teenagers, Mayuran faced immense peer pressure, and credits the support of his parents and his faith in God for his change in direction. Mayuran cites his mother and father as role models. “They work day and night for the success of their children. This makes me want to work twice as hard just for them.” Mayuran received the athletic award and placed on the honor roll at his school. Mayuran is currently studying international business at Centennial College, and intends to eventually pursue a university education.

Ryan Nesharatnam
Unique Distinguished effort
Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute

Facing many challenges with family, friends, and peer pressure, Ryan had to make decisions to support himself and live independently for a period of time. Ryan overcame numerous obstacles to persevere and succeed. Ryan placed on the honor roll every year of high school, and was the winner of the Toronto education Link Logo contest. Ryan credits his family and CanTYD for guiding him along the path to success. Ryan is currently studying Computer Engineering at Ryerson University, and is a Mac Specialist at Apple Computers.

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